Friday, 23 September 2011
Review: Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Published: 6th January 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie’s always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.
Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.
So much for normal
This book reminded me slightly of the initiative from season 4 of Buffy, with the secret government agency set up to 'contain' the supernatural elements of the world. I did find the whole thing a bit distasteful, but I think you're really supposed to. The idea of 'neutering' potentially harmless being and forcing them into servitude is probably not something you should be totally happy with.
I found Evie's character a bit too unrealistic, I dunno if it was the overexaggerated quirks ('Tasey' and her bizarre dress sense) or her penchant for moodswings, but I didn't really connect with her much. I did like her fascination with being 'normal', I thought that was pretty clever. I did like Raquel, I thought she was a cleverly constructed figure with her clear fondness for Evie and willingness to bend the rules slightly as a result. Lend was a pretty cute love interest, and I liked his unusual power. That's one thing I really did like about this book, White took all the common mythology and really made it her own with interesting twists and additions.
But actually, my favourite character was Reth. I know he was really creepy and sinister, but there was something about him that was a tiny bit appealing.
Plotwise, some of it was fairly cliche and predictable, but there were definitely elements there that were a surprise to me. The writing style was a bit too quirky for my liking, and though it's cute and fun to read it never feels like an actual person is saying/thinking those words and I always find that disengaging.
This is a really good book with good pace and action and decent characterisation, but I just didn't connect with it and so for that reason I give it 3. 5/5